Instinct vs Feel - What's the difference?

instinct | feel |

As nouns the difference between instinct and feel

is that instinct is a natural or inherent impulse or behaviour while feel is a quality of an object experienced by touch.

As adjectives the difference between instinct and feel

is that instinct is (archaic) imbued, charged ((with) something) while feel is .

As a verb feel is

(lb) to use the sense of touch .

As a pronoun feel is


As an adverb feel is


Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



  • A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.
  • Many animals fear fire by instinct .
  • * Shakespeare
  • By a divine instinct , men's minds mistrust / Ensuing dangers.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1921 , title= , author=Bertrand Russell , passage=In spite of these qualifications, the broad distinction between instinct and habit is undeniable. To take extreme cases, every animal at birth can take food by instinct, before it has had opportunity to learn; on the other hand, no one can ride a bicycle by instinct, though, after learning, the necessary movements become just as automatic as if they were instinctive.}}
  • An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.
  • an instinct''' for order; to be modest by '''instinct
    Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

    Derived terms

    * instinctively * instinctive


    (en adjective)
  • (archaic) Imbued, charged ((with) something).
  • * Milton
  • The chariot of paternal deity / Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed / By four cherubic shapes.
  • * Brougham
  • a noble performance, instinct with sound principle
  • * 1928 , (HP Lovecraft), ‘The Call of Cthulhu’:
  • This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) felen, from (etyl) .


  • (lb) To use the sense of touch.
  • # To become aware of through the skin; to use the sense of touch on.
  • #:
  • #:
  • #(lb) To find one's way (literally or figuratively) by touching or using cautious movements.
  • #:
  • #:
  • #(lb) To receive information by touch or by any neurons other than those responsible for sight, smell, taste, or hearing.
  • #(lb) To search by sense of touch.
  • #:
  • (lb) To sense or think emotionally or judgmentally.
  • #(lb) To experience an emotion or other mental state about.
  • #:
  • #*(Alexander Pope) (1688-1744)
  • #*:Teach me to feel another's woe.
  • #*
  • #*:Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile?; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
  • #*{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist), author=Lexington
  • , title= Keeping the mighty honest , passage=British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.}}
  • #(lb) To think, believe, or have an impression concerning.
  • #:
  • #*(William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • #*:Garlandswhich I feel / I am not worthy yet to wear.
  • #*{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=19 citation , passage=When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. He had him gripped firmly by the arm, since he felt it was not safe to let him loose, and he had no immediate idea what to do with him.}}
  • # To experience an emotion or other mental state.
  • #:
  • #:
  • #*
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=5 , passage=Then we relapsed into a discomfited silence, and wished we were anywhere else. But Miss Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, and with such a hearty enjoyment that instead of getting angry and more mortified we began to laugh ourselves, and instantly felt better.}}
  • #(lb) To sympathise; to have the sensibilities moved or affected.
  • #:
  • #*(Edmund Burke) (1729-1797)
  • #*:[She] feels with the dignity of a Roman matron.
  • #*(Alexander Pope) (1688-1744)
  • #*:who feel for all mankind
  • (lb) To be or become aware of.
  • (lb) To experience the consequences of.
  • :
  • (lb) To seem (through touch or otherwise).
  • :
  • :
  • To understand.
  • :
  • Usage notes
    * Most prescriptive grammarians prefer "I feel bad" to "I feel badly", but "I feel badly" is widely used in US English. * (term) is sometimes used after (feel) in its copulative sense where one might expect an adjective, ie, (bad). * Some users use (badly) when referring to an emotional state, and (bad) when referring to a more physical or medical state. * Adjectives to which "feel" is often applied as a copula: free, cold, cool, warm, hot, young, old, good, great, fine, happy, glad, satisfied, excited, bad, depressed, unhappy, sad, blue, sorry, smart, stupid, loved, appreciated, accepted, rejected, lonely, isolated, insulted, offended, slighted, cheated, shy, refreshed, tired, exhausted, calm, relaxed, angry, annoyed, frustrated, anxious, worried, jealous, proud, confident, safe, grateful, uncomfortable, unsafe, insecure, desperate, guilty, ashamed, disappointed, dirty, odd, strange, ill, sick.
    Derived terms
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    (en noun)
  • A quality of an object experienced by touch.
  • Bark has a rough feel .
  • A vague mental impression.
  • You should get a feel of the area before moving in.
  • An act of fondling.
  • She gave me a quick feel to show that she loves me.
  • A vague understanding
  • I'm getting a feel for what you mean.
  • An intuitive ability
  • She has a feel for music.
  • Alternative form of feeling
  • I know that feel.
    Derived terms
    * cop a feel * get a feel for * mouthfeel





    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) feele, fele, feole, from (etyl) fela, feala, . Related to (l).


    (English Pronouns)
  • Adjective